Happy New Year to you all!
I start the year with a post about my favourite eating experience of 2016. And that, without doubt, was tasting the culinary creations of Quique Dacosta. Dacosta is a three-michelin star and former Ebulli chef who has teamed up with high-end kitchen and bathroom suppliers, Porcelanosa. It was at a Porcelanosa showroom where I got introduced to his cuisine.
I’m gathered around a contemporary cooking aisle decorated with roses and foliage where Dacosta explains that his inspiration lies in the produce and terrain of his local area Denia, in Spain. Dacosta is a self-taught chef with a style likened to Heston Blumenthal, for all is not what it appears as the first dishes we are to try are unknowingly right in front of us. The foliage, which looks like leaves were in fact a combination of edible dehydrated ceps and peppers – deliciously crisp and unexpected. The other surprises are the roses, which have slices of apple in the middle and pebbles some real and others filled with velvety soft Manchego cheese scented with truffle oil – it’s cheerful start.
To follow is a ceviche style dish and although I’m not great with raw fish or ceviche, the fish is firm in texture and is complemented by a fresh citrus sauce punctuated with flavours of the sea. Dacosta’s wizardry shows through again in a dish that looks like an egg, but is actually a yolk encased in a chicken stock gel with broth topped with gold leaf and surrounded by pieces of chicken. It’s simply sublime.
An even bolder dish is next; it’s a type of risotto but without the creaminess. Truffle flavours appear again, but this time paired with a rich, meaty and earthy stock and topped with powdered rice.
We finish the evening with a pretty floral dessert; a sugar disc topped with little meringues and a creamy mango puree beneath. This dish has all the mouth feels – so very good.
It’s hard to believe that Dacosta is self-taught as the techniques and craftsmanship is quite extraordinary. It’s fun, exciting cookery that makes you smile.